A Hartlepool primary school is celebrating after receiving national recognition for its commitment to nature and protecting the environment.
Brougham Primary School has achieved ‘Young Tree Champion National Beacon School Status’ from The Tree Council for its Forest School project.
The Tree Council is a national body that brings everyone together with a shared mission to care for trees and the planet’s future.
The school started the project last year by transforming a grass field area into a wealth of flowers, trees, and shrubs to encourage wildlife.
Helen Moore, who has led on the initiative at Brougham, said: “The children have worked together to create various areas within the space whilst thinking about the different wildlife we wanted to encourage to visit.
“We’ve created a whole school vegetable patch where the children planted seasonal vegetables. They have been watering them and checking on them regularly. Already we’ve had delicious radishes and the carrots are coming on nicely. We’ve also planted potatoes, beans, and strawberries.
“We have planted trees, hedgerows and wildflowers that we have watered and looked after and now we are seeing the fruits of our labour. The Forest School is alive with beautiful wildflowers, lush meadow grass, new trees and hedgerows and we are seeing an increasing number of ladybirds, butterflies, and bees. Children have also created a bird-feeding station.
“It has been a great experience for our children. They have taken ownership of the space and I have seen first-hand the pleasure it has brought to them, spending time outdoors working on the development of the site with their friends.
“It has been a fantastic team effort and we’ve even had parents donating wooden planters for the wildflowers.
“I am incredibly proud of all the children for the passion and dedication they have shown, and everyone is looking forward to developing the site further in the months and years ahead.”
Brougham is one of eight primary schools across Teesside under the umbrella of Ad Astra Academy Trust.
Sarah Greenan, Headteacher at Brougham Primary School, commented: “One of the best ways we can enjoy and protect our environment is through the planting of trees.
“At Brougham, we are so excited about being named as a Young Tree Champion National Beacon School as it highlights our approach for fostering a love for nature and our commitment to a more sustainable future.
“To achieve Beacon Status the pupils undertook a series of activities to highlight the importance of trees in tackling climate change and the benefits of being in nature for our health and wellbeing.
“As a Beacon School, we will now benefit from additional trees and hedgerow packs, tailored to our forest school’s plans, additional free technology, such as wildlife cameras and opportunities to trial and develop new resources.
“This is a great achievement, and I would like to thank all the pupils and staff, particularly Mrs Moore for all of their hard work and dedication to developing our outdoor learning environment on our school grounds.”
The others Ad Astra Academy Trust primary schools are Barnard Grove, West Park and West View in Hartlepool, Crooksbarn and Rosebrook in Stockton-on-Tees and Ayresome and Sunnyside in Middlesbrough.
Ad Astra Academy Trust was formed in 2015 and over the last eight years has grown across the Tees Valley, providing education for over 3,500 pupils and 525 employees in Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Hartlepool.
Helen Moore of Brougham Primary School is pictured with pupils celebrating Beacon Status for their Forest School.
Tyler Railton and Fallon Moore at the bird feeding station.
Aubrey Moore and Aiden Moore survey the strawberry plants.
Daniel Markitans and Ava Marper check on the wildflowers.